Hints from Heloise: Some answers for Alzheimer’s

Dear Readers: November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. What is ALZHEIMER’SDISEASE (AD)? There’s a lot to know.

It’s common to occasionally forget something or misplace objects. But not remembering normal routines, getting flummoxed in public and repeating phrases over and over can be problematic.

AD affects the brain in older folks by slowly stamping out memory, reasoning and the ability to accomplish small tasks. What’s going on in the brain? Research is ongoing, but basically the brain is changing. These bad changes can begin in the portion of the brain responsible for memory.

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but you can train your brain to be healthier and active — at any age. Alzheimer’s Awareness month provides an opportunity to talk about AD. Here are some easy ways to keep your brain engaged:

* Take part in regular physical activity (with proper safety gear — helmets, etc.).

* Be involved in the community.

* Take a class at a junior college.

* Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

* Play games — crossword puzzles and strategy games with the family.

* Quit smoking.

* Get enough sleep.

Go to the Alzheimer’s Association website, www.alz.org, for more information. — Heloise



Dear Heloise: How can I clean my grandchildren’s stuffed animals? I want them to be fresh when the kids come to visit. — Jane R., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jane, it’s difficult, drippy and messy to wash them in the washing machine. Sprinkle the stuffed animals with either cornstarch or baking soda, and rub it in with your hands or a brush. Let it sit for a while, maybe an hour, and then go outside, don a mask and glasses, and beat the stuffed animals to remove the powder. — Heloise